Like two restaurants in one, NAMI Japanese Steakhouse affords guests the choice of dining traditionally or teppan-style. Those who choose the former settle into one of the eatery’s dining-room tables and enjoy sushi and any number of Thai or Chinese dishes, including traditional spicy and mild curries—enhanced by shrimp, tofu, or crisp duck—and flavorful staples, such as orange chicken, mongolian beef, and sweet-and-sour pork. Across the room, chefs break free from the kitchen and the ghost haunting it to engage customers seated around a flattop grill in teppan-style eating. They prepare anything from the hibachi menu: filet mignon, lobster, and scallops. As they grill each item in a lively, public display, diners enjoy shrimp appetizers, stir-fried vegetables, and white or fried rice. NAMI shares owners with Origami, which serves a menu of Japanese and Korean cuisine.
Robins Nest Bakery merges frosting and cake combinations into tempting, tiny, innovative packages. Although the six to eight daily cupcake flavors vary, options can include classic carrot and red velvet, alongside more creative concoctions such as nutter butter, a chocolate-cake base with peanut-butter buttercream frosting and peanut-butter embellishments. Lady Godiva cupcakes gallop through the long display case atop a chocolate-cupcake steed, sheathed in chocolate-raspberry buttercream frosting. Orange-mimosa cupcakes topped with whipped champagne frosting and bananas-foster rum cupcakes crowned with banana-rum buttercream, banana pieces, and cinnamon sprout from fruit trees raised by a liquor cabinet.
Servers at the new Citrola's Italian Grill & Pizzeria and the original Citrola's Times Square Italian Grill & Pizzeria serve up hand-tossed pizzas, piping-hot calzones, and home-crafted dishes packed with fresh ingredients. Diners can peruse the Times Square location's ample menu for gems such as Stromboli ($9.49), a hand-rolled dough pocket crammed full with pepperoni, sausage, salami, ham, and mozzarella and provolone cheeses. The veggie pie (14" for $18.99) packs an herbivorous wallop with garden residents such as tomatoes, banana peppers, and broccoli to brighten the spacious dining room or keep their floral cousins company on the outdoor patio.
Owner Nomiki Neskes—affectionately known as Yiayia or grandma—cooks the culinary traditions of her Greek homeland into her menu's authentic dishes. As the smells of freshly cooked food waft through the air, tzatziki and hummus with warm pita festoon tables, or forks spool steaming seafood pasta. Authentic Mediterranean recipes mingle lamb, fish, and beef with flavor-imparting wine and garlic sauces, and popular flaming-cheese appetizer saganaki reminds diners and hungry ice sculptures of the pyrotechnic potential of freshly prepared meals.
Smoothie King's staff inundates cups with more than 90 different flavors of made-to-order smoothies, served alongside a menu of healthy and nutritious treats. Buzzing blenders liquefy fruits and optional enhancers, increasing the swimmability of the seven categories of smoothies, including the Trim Down's low-fat Angel Food concoction ($4.69–$7.99) and the Snack Right's Caribbean Way with papaya, bananas, strawberries, turbinado, and honey ($4.69–$7.99). Palates can funnel all-natural chocolate through straws submerged beneath the sweet surface of the Peanut Power Plus Chocolate ($4.99–$8.99). With the oft-dry palate properly watered, mouths can then chomp down on solid snacks, such as natural chips ($1.09–$1.79), jerky sticks ($2.09), and Cliff Bars ($1.39).
The talented gourmets at Origami Restaurant take taste buds on cultural journeys with a menu stocked full of specialty sushi rolls and Korean and Japanese favorites. Cylindrical pieces of Dynamite rolls with chopped tuna, yellowtail, and wasabi ($8.95), and Origami rolls with tuna, salmon, whitefish, and avocado ($10.95) patiently wait for rides mouthward via chopsticks or miniature catapults. Korean specials such as bibimbap, beef, fried egg, and marinated vegetables, hunt down hunger and beat it with a side of rice ($14.95). On the spectacular side, delicately plated house specials dazzle eyes and taste buds with land- and sea-faring dishes such as the pan-seared tuna steak ($22.95) or the varied selection of korean barbecue, which is grilled tableside, proving to diners it's not a witch.
At The Grind Coffee House & Roaster, the coffee drinks come hot or cold, basic or advanced. So, in addition to a regular cup of joe, guests can treat themselves to hazelnut coffee or white mochas with whipped cream. The elegantly appointed cafe boasts cozy booths canopied by exposed brick arches, and pervasive earth tones and wood accents hint at the coffee being brewed backstage. But the shop offers food, too. Breakfast fare and sandwiches for lunch bring in patrons beyond the aggressive americano crowd.